The State of California will end the sale of eggs from out-of-state battery cage facilities beginning January 1, 2015.
On Tuesday, July 6, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law Assembly Bill No. 1437, which requires all sales in California of shell (whole) eggs for human consumption to comply with the state’s Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act. This act prohibits the confinement of egg-laying hens in a manner that does not allow the birds to fully extend both wings without touching the side of an enclosure or other egg-laying hens, effectively banning the use of battery cages.
As simple and humane as this sounds, it has been very controversial — opponents quibble over the language of what it means to ‘extend both wings’ — and predict the egg industry will move out of California. They resist the idea that the public is recoiling from what they are learning about how food animals live.